With an expressive and exuberant nature, The Bollands’ new self-titled album has incorporated Christian’s resonating vocals and the colorful clobber of Joyce’s melodica and the accompanying instruments (bass, percussion and trumpet (on ‘Distort the Truth’) to create a blend of what sounds like a rootsy-folk sound.
From each track we receive a new exciting concoction of a tune that makes listeners want to stomp their feet or hop onto a caravan and go on road trip. The melody is subservient to the quirkiness of the guitar, and the way the slightly busy musical plane of each song does not stick, allows us to take a breath; it alternates between clearings of purely Christian’s vocals and the thinning texture of the instruments.
‘Sing to the Moon’ is an indelible ballad, absolutely drowning in a more jolly sort of melancholy. The melodica plays a complimentary layer over the guitar, giving the piece just that little bit of spice and flavor. The pace of the song starts off at a slow 3/4, and then increases in pace and texture too, allowing the listeners to gradually delve themselves deeper into the depths of impassioned vibe. While ‘What Have You Become’ awards us with a pleasant surprise. Listening to the track, the plinky timbre and the playfulness of Joyce’s voice instantly reminded me of a fairytale’s skip in the woods. Her weirdly ethereal voice goes perfectly with the mingling of staccato keyboard notes, faint claps, and glockenspiel (excuse me if I’m wrong about the Glockenspiel!). Overall I’d have to say my favorite track is ‘Distort the Truth’. I enjoyed the edging in of the piano, accompanied by the distinct catchiness of the rhythm.
As a debut album, The Bollands have already outdone themselves, but who knows? Two very different backgrounds; the amalgamation of a technical side from classical music and the rawness of Christian’s background, to design spirited folk tunes about ‘the twists and turns of life’ (as lifted from their biography). Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to watch them perform live, and stomp my feet………….or hop on a caravan and go on a road trip.
– Chloe Cheng